BMX Racing locally is usually pretty cheap. Traveling to other communities to BMX Race and to big BMX Race events like Nationals can cost more money.
In the USA, the ABA (American Bicycle Association) and the NBL (National Bicycle League) both offer very inexpensive trial memberships, so you can see if you like BMX racing or not before you go full-bore with it.
Also, there are usually no costs for spectators to watch and everyone is welcome.
To get started first and foremost, you obviously need a BMX bike. You don’t need an expensive, fancy bike to race BMX.
The bike does not play that much of a role in the out come of BMX races. I’ve had bikes worth over eleven hundred dollars in the past and I’ve seen racers get beaten by racers on $200 junk piles.
Sure, having a high-tech, race bike that is the right size for you can help your performance, but only to a relatively small degree really. Later on, when you get the hang of BMX racing and have some experience in it, you will probably want
a good, dependable bike if you don’t already have one.
You can get a pretty decent, dependable new bike for around $300 or so. If you are made of money, and are sure you are going to stick with BMX, a good bike that needs little or no upgrading, that will last you through all proficiencies ( rookie, novice, expert, pro, etc.) will probably run about $575 or so brand new.
Don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike to get into racing! Just about any bike will do starting out. When you get better at BMX racing you might decide later you need (or just want) a better bike.
You can buy used bikes at Flea Markets, pawn shops, bmx tracks, from individuals, and some bike shops, some are really cheap too. The basic requirements for bikes to race is that all reflectors, the chain guard, the kickstand, and any axle
pegs be removed.
You will also need pads covering the handlebar crossbar, the stem, and the top tube of your bike. You can get pads as well as bike parts and complete bikes from the BMX bike Shops listed in our Directory or from your local bike shop if they are not listed (tell them to list on our site). Some racing tracks or organizations do not require you to race with pads, check with your local track.
Your handlebars can not be sticking through the end of your grips. You may want to make sure your bike is tuned up good – check your tires for wear and tear, and make sure everything is good and tight.
You can run coaster brakes on your bike, but it is strongly recommend that you don’t. Its generally better if you have a freewheel on the back wheel (a part that lets you pedal backwards without the brakes engaging) and use hand brakes that mount on your handlebars. You can use front brakes, but using rear brakes instead is usually better.
You will need a helmet to race, which can normally be borrowed at your local track if you don’t have one yet. You can use a full face helmet, but an open face one will work fine as well (but again check with your local track). You will probably need a mouth guard if you are using an open face helmet.
It is also required that you wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants. You can get by with about any long sleeve shirt and jeans for the time being though. You don’t need a race jersey and racing pants or a sponsor to get into BMX racing.
The first step in getting involved in BMX Racing is finding your local BMX track, take a look in our BMX Track Directory.